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Description - Against Prediction by Bernard E. Harcourt

From routine security checks at airports to the use of risk assessment in sentencing, actuarial methods are being used more than ever to determine whom law enforcement officials target and punish. And with the exception of racial profiling on our highways and streets, most people favor these methods because they believe they re a more cost-effective way to fight crime. In "Against Prediction," Bernard E. Harcourt challenges this growing reliance on actuarial methods. These prediction tools, he demonstrates, may in fact "increase" the overall amount of crime in society, depending on the relative responsiveness of the profiled populations to heightened security. They may also aggravate the difficulties that minorities already have obtaining work, education, and a better quality of life thus perpetuating the pattern of criminal behavior. Ultimately, Harcourt shows how the perceived success of actuarial methods has begun to distort our very conception of just punishment and to obscure alternate visions of social order. In place of the actuarial, he proposes instead a turn to randomization in punishment and policing. The presumption, Harcourt concludes, should be "against prediction.""

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780226316147
ISBN-10: 0226316149
Format: Paperback
(227mm x 161mm x 21mm)
Pages: 264
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 15-Dec-2006
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Bernard E. Harcourt

Bernard E. Harcourt is professor of law and director of the Center for Studies in Criminal Justice at the University of Chicago. He is the author of "Illusion of Order: The False Promise of Broken Windows Policing"and "Language of the Gun: Youth, Crime, and Public Policy.""

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